We All Have Our Favorite Street
I have noticed that one of the best things to do in Moscow is walk. It can be very pleasant to get out and pound the pavement, using your eyes, ears and even nose to see what the city is really about. On a hot summer afternoon or a freezing cold winter day, perhaps this isn’t the best idea, but we are blessed in Moscow with more than our share of very nice weather, especially in late summer.
By Linda Lippner
I have a favorite street to walk on as I think most of us do. In fact, I will go out of my way and take a detour if I can walk along my street. This street has many old and leafy trees; great when it does get a bit hot, as I can choose the shady side. My street has more than its share of old buildings or at least some fine architechural details that show care in the construction. And some of these buildings are under “remont” so it is a great chance to peer into the inner layers of the building which haven’t been seen for decades. My street also has a few vacant lots, or at least some areas that are so overgrown with grass and weeds, that you can stop and look for some wildlife inside these miniature natural parks. The wildlife in my little “parks” usually consist of some feral cats and the occasional field mouse or city rat. Not that I ever see the cats, but I see the plates of food and water that the humans are putting out under the bushes. You can always count on a neighborhood local to feed the hungry and homeless!
I like streets with some history and also with some nature. The nature gives some quiet to the street. The history shows that life has gone on for a long time even if it is the mundane life of generations of city folk doing their daily chores and having their daily conversations, arguments and social encounters. But my street is in an area of the city that has seen quite a lot of history. Street battles actually, from early in the 20th century when the first chapters of the Revolution were being written. That gives a special sense of gravity to my street since one can imagine things weren’t always so quiet where I am walking today. I haven’t seen any bullet holes, but they are probably there under the stucco or covered over with paint on the buildings that I pass.
But of course, the best part of my walk along my favorite street is listening to the conversations that I hear as I pass by. One mother is very upset that her son is marrying “that woman.” Another conversation reveals that street crime is something to watch out for after dark. A group of teenagers are playing soccer under the trees lining a large apartment building. Although I can’t understand what they are shouting to each other, their posturing and furious competitive playing tells it all; who is king of the neighborhood in the adolescent pecking order. But if you have a favorite street such as mine, enjoy it now, as like most of Moscow these days, your street might have changed the next time you take a walk there.